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How to Choose an In-Demand Degree

Ana-Marcela Lopez

Chances are when you were you asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, the notion of whether or not your dream job was “in demand” was not part of your deliberation. That said, the answers you might have given probably were in demand anyway; we are always in need of competent presidents, doctors, astronauts, and firefighters—all the classic dreams that kids usually aspire to. If you don’t want to be President of the United States anymore, that’s fine. But you probably still want a career that is in demand, one that is lucrative and secure in an ever-changing job market. 

If you are yet undecided on your career path, don’t worry! There are several ways to help you find a meaningful, inspiring, and in-demand career. You could pore over labor trends and spend hours looking up salaries and reading Glassdoor reviews, but that could lead you to a career that may pay well but, ultimately, isn’t fulfilling. Instead, think about what your life goals are, and consider the following questions to help you choose an in-demand degree:

What are your strengths and weaknesses? An actuarial mathematician makes a pretty penny each year, but if math isn’t your strong suit, then your chances of succeeding in that career are slim. Think about what areas of study you enjoyed in high school. What were some of your favorite summer or part-time jobs? Think about what you are not only good at doing, but what inspires you. Your strengths, talents, and sources of inspiration can help you find a career that is both lucrative and enjoyable. 

What is your ideal job? Are you an autonomous worker? Do you thrive as part of a big team? Do you prefer a smaller one? When considering a career, think about what you want your work week to look like. While every job is different, there are certain fields that are typically structured to have certain work environments. Marketing and writing careers are becoming increasingly remote, so if flexibility is important to you, keep those kinds of professions in mind. 

What lifestyle do you want? Work and life are not mutually exclusive, so finding a balance that works for you and your loved ones is important. A 24/7 work mindset, which is neither realistic nor healthy, isn’t the goal here. Rather, we think it’s important to find a career that makes your life better, and vice versa. The more inspiration and success you find in your career, the happier you will be.

Do I really need soft stills? Yes! Even STEM majors need to develop excellent written and oral communication skills for their careers. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a liberal arts core education. When looking for the perfect school for you, consider one with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The critical thinking, communication, and reasoning skills you develop will serve you in any career path. 

Ultimately, “in demand” is what you make of it. Don’t be discouraged if your passion isn’t petroleum engineering or managing hedge funds. Everyone’s meaningful work is different. If you’re looking for a career path that is lucrative, find areas to which you can apply your strengths and passions. And of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to the career services department at your school; the staff there are trained to help you identify possible career paths through one-on-one counseling and assessments. We’re here to help, too! Abound: Finish College narrows down your options and gets you in touch with schools that we can confirm are Accessible, Affordable, Accelerated, and Advanced. Take a look at the schools we trust and the opportunities they can afford you. With these excellent programs, you just might find the program and career path that works for you.


More Helpful Resources:

What are the Costs of Not Finishing College

What is a Non-Traditional Student?

12 Helpful Campus Resources Adult Undergraduates Need to Know About

Online Study Tips: Goals, Rewards, and Motivation


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